Honour award for Young Adult Fiction in the 2007 NZ Children's Book Awards Jamie Finland is a 19-year-old who has turned his back on his mum in Masterton and headed north to the eastern Bay of Plenty. When local 'soul' surfer Mike Taylor saves his life one day, a strong friendship is formed. Fin lives on the thought of surfing that next wave and partying hard with his best mate and new life mentor. But Mike is killed and Jamie is left alone. After the accident, Fin is 'adopted' by Mike's Uncle Bobby, who runs a large farming operation down the coast. Fin is starting to get used to his new life when Mike's younger cousin, Jack, freshly expelled from boarding school, arrives on the farm to learn a work ethic. Jack is the complete opposite to Mike and this causes friction with Fin. Then Jack discovers surfing and Fin is pressured into fighting the demons he thought he had shut away for good. The story traces Fin's journey from hitting rock bottom to making his way back to the surface. It has a deep surfing theme, based on NZ's own culture and huge surf industry. First published 2006.
Winner of New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards: Honour Award 2007. Shortlisted for New Zealand Post Children's Book Award: Senior Fiction 2007.
Aaron Topp is 29 years old and lives in Hawkes Bay with his wife and toddler son. He has taught at Ohope Beach Primary and since 1999 has worked in the rural family business. He has been an avid surfer since he was 14. Single Fin is based on a true story. Four years ago Aaron's best friend and surfing mentor was killed on the way to the beach.